Writing and reading: necessary siblings.

My fiction class this semester has been somewhat of a bust. While I hoped it would force me to spend time outside class and homework time, I find myself scrambling every Tuesday night to read and comment on the student work we're discussing that week. I haven't found time to write; time has signed itself up for a variety of other projects and priorities, most notably, the wedding planning project.

I ran into Garrett, a colleague, in the subway during my morning commute yesterday. Garrett's a poet and I knew he would understand the frustration of not writing.

"I bet you're not reading much either, are you?" he asked.

"No," I said. "Well, I'm reading a bunch of user-experience books for work..."

He made a face. And then it totally hit me. I'M NOT READING. HENCE, I'M NOT WRITING.

Garrett was totally right. You can't run a marathon without training and in writing, as in many other arts, you get out what you put in. If I'm not reading rich and wonderful fiction, how can I expect myself to write some?

Today I have a personal day from work. A little Christmas shopping, lunch with Sima, then my first wedding dress shopping this afternoon. On my way home from class last night, I bought the new Nicole Krauss novel and I can't wait to sink hours into it today.

You get out what you put in. How many times do you have to learn the same lesson before it sticks?!


mckay said...

how was the book? did you choose well?

kyle said...

Thanks for this post; opening a book and closing this computer right now!